Seven Months and a Bonfire

It seems like yesterday in ways. Our Katie K left us a little over 7 months ago, but she still is with us all. Contradictions that make for an introspective space where memories live long and our hearts are still warmed by someone gone. It does fluctuate some, as there are days when I feel empty without her, missing the long talks and her smile. But then I am having more days were I feel her enormous love and can hear her voice and wise words.

I guess that is the new normal that progresses in each of us, but for some there is more sense of loss that overrides feelings of having Katie still close to us in some way. Hopefully with time, Katie’s love will prevail.

I’ve been re-reading some of the content on this site, browsing photos of Katie, Nate and Chuck and watching the slideshow from all stages of Katie’s life. So much true love that you all shared about Katie, both when she was still with us in your comments and emails, and also after her passing. Katie’s favorite poems, music and quotes, her heart-wrenching cancer story, and inspiring blog posts do help us all lead brighter, stronger lives. Her true love of Nate is so vibrant in photos that you get a warm glow in your heart.

I think back to her last week in the hospital in Royal Oak on the hospice floor. When she was still aware and talking, she was telling visitors that she loved them when saying goodbyes. Those simple words, “I love you”, that she uttered were the essence of who she was. She built strong friendships and relationships with many based on her love of you all, and her love of life’s joys. This is evident in the stories, emails and comments you have all shared here.

My hope is that you all still feel the warmth of Katie’s love in your hearts, and that this will only grow with time. If you feel some love, leave the word “love” in the comments below!


About ten of us gathered last night at Jodi and Brett’s house for another “bonfire” with the fireplace warming us in this cold weather. People brought appetizers to share and we had a really nice time catching up with each other, while a photo of Katie was nearby. Tammy’s sister Carol is visiting from snow-bound Boston, so it was a treat to see her again. We all talked about how new jobs were going, the funny stories of teaching, raising kids, Breaking Bad, and on and on. Katie I am sure was laughing along with us.

This was the first “bonfire” group that was not held at Katie’s house, which sold 6 weeks ago. So while missing the place and smells of Katie’s awesome home, we were warmed by the atmosphere and each others company.  In the midst of all the fun, I forgot to take photos, but I did snap of photo of the warm fire:

Bonfire at Jodi and Brett's (Feb 2015)

Bonfire at Jodi and Brett’s (Feb 2015)

And another sign of Katie’s continued presence in our lives, her orchids are blooming again:

Katie's Orchids Still Blooming (Feb 2015)

Katie’s Orchids Still Blooming (Feb 2015)

Let’s remember Katie every day!  Remember to share your simple “love” in the comments below!

– Love to you all.

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  1. holly shulman March 1, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    LOVE!! –Thanks Ashby. For those of us who are too far away to attend the bonfires, your posts are magical in how they bring us right into the circle.
    Today I remember our girl as I cook up a batch of her homemade apple sauce. While I have always aspired to eat and live a more healthy life style- for me, it’s been a struggle and effort, but Katie made it a passionate way of life. tiny as she was, she loved her food and loved to share favorite recipes, restaurants and even brands she found to be the best. She even loved to share plates when we ate out and I loved the intimacy of her reaching her fork across the table to help herself to a taste of my dish 🙂 I’m pretty sure she got that from Chuck.


    1. Yes, she must have gotten that from Chuck! Too funny! Enjoy the applesauce!


  2. Elana Greville March 1, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing. If possible, post pics of Nate & how he’s doing. 😌

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. Hi Elana – We are hoping Nate is doing okay. Still trying to work out things so at least Tammy can see him, if not others. We will post news when we know it.


  3. Jen Goodbinder March 1, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    I miss Katie every day, but do feel her love too. Thanks for the blog post.


  4. Tanya McNamara March 1, 2015 at 3:46 pm



  5. Thanks so much for keeping these posts going. I remember Katie’s fierce yet gentle love often. The orchids brought tears to my eyes. Though we lived in different place during the last years, the times we did spend together are precious memories. She is a wise and glorious spirit and I miss her.


  6. Love. And sadness. How can anyone deny their son his grandmother? How can anyone who once claimed to love his wife be so cruel? It is unfathomable to me. Ashby, please remove my comment if it’s not appropriate for the page. I’m just so enraged; I had to speak it.


  7. So sorry to miss a chance to honor Katie’s memory but i’ll be there next time.


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